Wednesday 9 March 2016


Reader Millie has a nerve-wracking problem - can Skye Tanberry offer any solutions?

Millie says:
I have a serious fear of public speaking - I get so nervous I feel physically sick, and on one occasion I actually was. Every year in English we have to give a speech and this is looming up soon. I am so anxious it is all I can think about. Plus we also have to do a class assembly in front of our whole year, and I have to speak in this also. I'm scared that I will fall over or that my mouth will go so dry I can't speak... or worse, that I'll start crying. Please help... this is taking over my life!

Skye says:
First of all, these fears can only take over your life if you allow them to. You are in charge of how you act and react to things, and you can get a grip of your feelings. I am very shy too, so I do understand - I don't like the limelight, I am much more of a behind the scenes person, while Summer, my twin, seems to come to life in the spotlight. I asked her once how she handles the nerves, and she said that she feels just as scared as I do but that she carries on and does it anyway. Once she begins dancing, the fear subsides and she loses herself in the dance. I've used this advice to help when I have to do speeches at school... I choose a subject I feel very strongly about and tell myself that the class need to hear about it. I often do a PowerPoint presentation too, because the pictures give the class something to look at apart from me, and they also act as a prompt if I forget what I am meant to be saying. It does work... my last speech was about 1920s costume, and I was so wrapped up in it all that I ended up quite enjoying it! Don't give negative thoughts head space... you won't fall over, or lose your voice, or be sick, or cry... those things would only make things worse, so focus your energy on staying calm with some slow, gentle breaths. Sometimes, we have to do things we don't enjoy - but the sense of achievement when we manage to do them is huge. You can do this, I promise!

Cathy says:
I agree 100% with Skye. I was horrified when I realised that being an author involved giving talks to huge groups of people at schools and book festivals, but I didn't want to let anyone down so I made myself do it. These days, it's one of my favourite parts of the job. And yes, those nerves can actually help to keep you on your toes! Do YOU agree with Skye's advice? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. my advice would be to just be yourself,i've been doing theatre for 4 years,and i always think that if people are going to judge you then shame on them.Believe in yourself,don't worry,nerves are natural.Don't let nerves take over you,just fight them,be confident! Good luck!

  2. My advice would just be yourself too, fight them nerves and show them your not scared. Maybe practise your lines, and if it troubles you that much, get a parent to help you. ;) I'm not a big fan either, but just show them you're not scared. Imagine your somewhere else, and imagine you are there and read it out. It'll help. But just be yourself, nerves are natural. Nobody will judge you.



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